Diagnostic and Therapeutic Cardiovascular Procedures
It has been more than 70 years since the dramatic description of cardiac catheterization by Werner Forssmann (performed on himself).1 Over the past decades, percutaneous-based interventional cardiology has witnessed a remarkable journey, ranging from development of techniques for measuring intracardiac physiology and assessing coronary anatomy to interventions that rivaled or replaced conventional cardiac surgery. From the development of diagnostic catheterization by Cournand, Ranges, and Richards in the 1940s, followed by selective coronary angiography by Sones in 1958, balloon flotation catheterization by Swan and Ganz in 1970, and the first percutaneous coronary angioplasty by Gruentzig in 1974, the expansion of percutaneous-based interventional techniques has refined the management of patients with various forms of cardiac diseases. Over recent years, numerous percutaneous cardiac procedures have demonstrated proven benefits when subjected to evaluation in large-scale clinical trials. For example, multivessel coronary stenting has been shown to be a reasonable form of coronary revascularization in selected patients compared with cardiac bypass surgery. Placement of drug-eluting stents has become standard practice in the management of many patients with coronary artery disease. Percutaneous-based ablation techniques have become common procedures for eliminating atrial or ventricular arrhythmias or for the relief of ventricular outflow tract obstruction in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.
Recognition of the current use, risks, and benefits of the common diagnostic and therapeutic procedures is thus crucial to the practice of cardiovascular medicine. Challenges in communicating the technical aspects of these procedures to noninterventional cardiac care practitioners exist. Performance of the latest percutaneous-based procedures is often limited to specialized centers. In addition, new indications or improvements in techniques are constantly evolving. In its commitment to the cardiovascular community in enhancing the knowledge of these advancing interventional techniques, Circulation has launched a new video series that captures narrated footage of the most crucial components of these procedures. The procedures in these videos are performed and narrated by leading experts in the specific fields of interest. PowerPoint demonstrations and text articles supplement the video presentations of these procedures. We hope that you enjoy and learn from this new series.
- © 2010 American Heart Association, Inc.